Friday, May 28, 2010

It's Black and In The Woodpile

While walking the dog just now, had a surprise encounter:

Black Rat Snake, elaphe obsoleta. Also knows as the Blacksnake, Pilot Blacksnake, and Chicken Snake. This fellow appears to be between 4 and 5 feet in length. Judging by the cloudy eye, he is due to shed his skin sometime in the next week.

update: Rat snakes make wonderful pets. I've had many throughout my life; Corn Snakes, also known as Red Rat Snakes; Yellow Rat Snakes, and Black Rat Snakes. I've never been bitten by any of them, even at time of capture. With most of them, you can actually just pick them up and, if you're gentle with them, they won't even bite. The king snake family is another matter; although handsome snakes, they tend to be more nervous than rat snakes and will bite readily if frightened, as well as when captured.

Nice to have him as a neighbor.

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